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What Is Early Word?
The Philadelphia Inquirer's experimental online "morning show", which began in Sept. 2005, went on hiatus in the summer of 2006, after a gradual shift to putting more of its content directly on

About the Host
Peter Mucha, husband and father of two, grew up in Cherry Hill and is a lifelong Philly sports fan. He's been writing and editing for The Inquirer for 18 years. His motto (at least for today): "If I'm not brief, give me grief."

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Eagles Rumors Update: Javon Walker Up for Bids 

With the Packers' permission, the disgruntled Green Bay wideout has visited the Saints. So clearly he's been shopped for a possible swap involving picks, perhaps a player or two. That much we know. Most of the rest is reasonable guesswork and rampant speculation. Supposedly the Eagles think the Packer's asking price of a first-round is too steep. (Especially for a guy recovering from a torn ACL.) Although reported last night "We heard a trip to Philly is in the works," not a word's been heard. Asked yesterday on WIP about a possible Philly visit, Birds GM Tom Heckert declined comment. Denver, where Walker is supposed to be visiting today, is alleged to be cooking up a three-way deal involving an unidentified third team. Miami, Kansas City and New England are also intrigued. Despite all the buzz, a Milwaukee Journal columnist doubts any deal will get done.

Four Eagles Draft-Pick Polls 

Before you vote, you might want to check out the thoughts of some writers.

WHAT WILL the Eagles DO in the first round?
Free polls from

WHO WILL the Eagles PICK in the first round?
Free polls from

WHAT SHOULD the Eagles DO in the first round?
Free polls from

WHO SHOULD the Eagles PICK in the first round?
Free polls from

Summer Movies: A Lineup With Links and a Poll 

Here are some of this summer's possible blockbusters. Click on a title to visit the official website, where you'll find trailers and more.

Mission: Impossible 3, May 5. Tom Cruise takes on supervillain Truman Capote, I mean, a supervillain played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Poseidon, May 12. I have a sinking feeling about this one.
The Da Vinci Code, May 19. Tom Hanks brings to the screen the heretical thriller that keeps deviling best-seller lists.
X-Men: The Last Stand, May 26. More mutants than ever -- including Kelsey Grammer as Beast! -- in this third go-around.
The Break-Up, June 2. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. Off-screen chemistry might mean movie chemistry,t too. Besides, he's a crackup.
The Omen, 6/6/6. When you run out of satanic sequels, you remake the 1976 original. Oh, look at the cute little baby! It has its father's eyes.
Cars, June 9. Pixar. Vrroom. Vrrroom
Nacho Libre, June 16. Comedy stars Jack Black as a priest who turns pro wrestler to save an orphanage.
Click, June 23. Adam Sandler gets a magical remote that lets him rewind his life.
Superman Returns, June 30. Brandon Routh is the new Man of Steel, Kevin Spacey is Lex Luther, and Kate Bosworth is Lois Lane.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, July 7. Johnny Depp (above) is back as Capt. Jack Sparrow, trying to keep phantoms from stowing away his soul in Davy Jones' locker.
Lady in the Water, July 21. M. Night Shyamalan's latest eerie fable, about a woman who comes to life from a children's story.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend, July 21. Owen Wilson tries to break up with Uma Thurman, because she's a bit mental. One problem: She also has superpowers.
Miami Vice, July 28. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx star in big-screen version of the TV show. Farrell had a hit yet?
World Trade Center, Aug. 11. Norristown's Maria Bello joins Nicholas Cage in Oliver Stone's tale of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Clerks 2, Aug. 18. Jersey boy director Kevin Smith knows: With a slacker classic, there's no rush to do the sequel.
Snakes on a Plane, Aug 18. Reptiles run amok in coach! Save us, Samuel L.!

Which movie sounds like the biggest summer hit?
Free polls from

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Olney-Grown Biz Whiz Takes on 'CSI' Tonight 

Tonight, the girl from Olney who grew up to be a marketing guru goes head-to-head with CBS killer-drama CSI. And most of Mary Lou Quinlan's life her only TV experience came as a 7-year-old member of Brownie Troop 54, when, instead of waving to the cameras, she stewed in her seat over not being picked to be onstage on The Gene London Show. Now she’s the most expressive judge on American Inventor, ABC’s parade of dreamers and schemers, all convinced their huggable Therapy Buddy, anti-flatulence underwear insert, or giant hamster wheel for humans is the Next Big Thing. First, at 8, a one-hour recap recalls the show's 10 worst inventions. Then at 9, Quinlan (who at Cardinal Dougherty High was Maria’s dance-double in West Side Story) takes center-stage, mentoring three of the 12 finalists, as each turns $50,000 and help from pros into much-improved prototypes. There’s the woman with a trilingual tolerance-teaching doll. The teen with a bike designed for handlebar rides. And the man with the gym bag. As in: He stuffed a whole gym in a bag. Each hopes to be the one Quinlan selects to be in the final four, who’ll face off for the $1 million prize.

But, frankly, so far, many viewers have often found the judges at least as entertaining as the obsessively intense contestants, even the ones with edible snow globes or doggie air-conditioners. And, not surprisingly, the emotive women from Philly (born Mary Lou Finlayson, grew up in St. Helena’s parish, graduated St. Joe's in '75, married Joe Quinlan, who wrote for the Bulletin) is the readiest to show and tell how she feels. After all, studying feelings is her business. Her invention was Just Ask a Woman, a marketing firm whose mission is to tell corporations just what women want. Her book of the same name was folllowed by Time Off for Good Behavior, a women's guide to taking productive career breaks.

This wide-eyed redhead’s emotions run the whole range. They don’t park in a corner, the way Paula Abdul’s positivity does on American Idol, always a foil to the insensitivities of Simon Cowell, who dreamed up this show. "I was encouraged by Simon to fully react as a person," she said on the phone. And so she does. The camera even likes to watch Quinlan listen, sympathy rising in those soulful eyes, as saps detail their sacrifices: small fortunes, marriages, employment, even a kidney. You can tell she loves that “yippee!” moment, as she calls it, when a yes from the judges means hope that years of struggle might finally pay off.

Most of Quinlan’s flashes of ire have been directed toward Doug Hall, the pudgy inventor judge whose incessant claims of authority — knows all about falling through ice on frozen lakes? – have made him an easy target. "You don’t get to be the smartest person in the room! Anybody ever told you that?" she ranted on a recent episode. And apparently the animosity isn't just for show. Not going to have dinner with him anytime soon? "Not in his dreams," she said. "... I wish he could invent a way to become more likeable, but he's not that clever." (Check out an earlier item on Hall and Three Stooges Seltzer.)

She's knocked inventions, too. Like the Flatulence Deodorizer. She called it a “fart pad,” then added, “I can’t believe I said that word on TV.”

But there was no topping the topless moment, when an inventrix, poised along a model with a huge red bow on her chest, reached and, drum roll please, yanked a ribbon, instantly causing judges’ jaws to drop. The guys smiled. Not Quinlan. “There they were, those big ones right in my face,” she recounted. “I just thought as a woman, I can’t just sit here.” So, in a room with about 20 men, counting off-camera crew, she jumped from her chair, looked around and called out, "Where’s my coat?" People thought she was walking out. No, she sought the coat to cover the model up. Then she spoke her mind some more. “Show some naked stupid girl and that’s an invention? Grow up, get a job, be proud of yourself, where’s your mother?” she said to the presenter (not Hall). Not another peep, or even a chance to vote, from the testosterone triumvirate.

Meanwhile, back in Philly, Sister Alma Rose Schlosser and a group of fellow nuns were cheering her on, as Quinlan later learned. "I was just proud and happy that she stepped forward for women in the right way," said Schlosser, president for St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls in the Northeast.

By the way, judging from the promos, that "naughty knot lingerie" is one of the 10 worst that will re-air tonight at 8.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Opie & Anthony Debut on WYSP 

Greg "Opie" Hughes, left, and Anthony Cumia after leaving their new CBS morning show today, to take a one-block walk to do two more hours on XM satellite radio.

A couple of minutes after 6 a.m., and on WYSP (94.1 FM) there's a voice of some rep for the "Catholic League," saying everybody deserves a second chance, and "I just wish you well." Then the opening montage, featuring quotes from the hosts, Opie and Anthony: "We're the rapid radio retards ... We're the only radio show that makes you want to hate. ... I love the hitting and the fighting. ... I love women. I'm a slovenly fat pig. ... Put on your laughing hats."
A voice, maybe a movie clip, intones: "But enough of this palaver. Let's get the show on the road."
There follows a period of heavy breathing ...
"What is that? Audio from four years ago?" says Opie.
"We call it the Virus. The O&E Virus spreading across America," says Anthony.
Next, the obligatory list the "terrestrial" stations now carrying them, starting today: Boston, Philly, Cleveland, West Palm Beach, Dallas, a few others.
"The Virus continues to spread right across America."
O says happy birthday to A, who starts to bewail being ill.
A: "My voice is shot. I slept for three hours. I've been sick all night. Hey, welcome back. Can you believe I'm sick?"
O says some guy offers to rub A's back, and A says, "He does that when I'm well." Complains about "not being able to breathe." Moans: "I'll let you in on a little inside information about radio: Talking's pretty important."
O says radio legend Don Imus is calling in about 10 minutes.
A says he'd do his Imus impression if he weren't sick: "I can't even do impressions. I can do an impression of somebody with AIDS. Get me a tattered robe and some broth."
A says O is "the bastard of everybody on this crew. He rules with an iron first. ... They remember you as a real ass."
A says he feels like he "coughed up a pin cushion."
O: "People gotta bear with us. We're testing out a new studio. Gonna be some bugs"
A: "I sent somebody out for some honey and water. What a faggot I am."
O says Kenny, one of the guys he rode to the studio with, puked in the car, making it smell like rotting eggs. Limos and a welcoming crew.
In comes the honey and lemon. An actual lemon.
O: "Hey, stupid, do you just have to just drop off a bag off fruit for the star?"
Note: This isn't running dialogue ... can't get every sentence down.
A: "I am all man. And now I just sound like a whining, crying little infant."
First caller. Jim in Connecticut wishes Anthony a happy birthday and Anthony hangs up on him. Then he blames his illness on shaking hands with people in Boston. "What a germy, germy city."
Brian in Virginia Beach welcomes them back, then like corporate shill explains all about how it's "Whipping Out Wednesday." You get stickers from the website, or make them up, saying WOW. The hope: that upon seeing the sticker, "some lovely lady might whip em out and show off to ya."
First commercial break includes an ad for Monarch Med Spa, which wants to remove your unwanted hair, from back hair to "hair down there."
Then it's Imus on the phone.
There's annoying feedback zinging in the background.
But nevertheless, he delivers the best line so far: "You'd be throwing up and you'd still be better than what they had!" (David Lee Roth, apparently.)
Imus wants to "let the listeners in on a secret," that CBS actually wants O&A to do whatever they please : "You can take a goat to a mosque. There's nothing you can't do."
O&A explain how they told CBS thinks like "We've grown and we've learned," but CBS kept saying things like, "We still need you guys edgy."
After Imus, they share reports of the "strange technical problems."
O: "We're in a new studio. We gotta figure it all out."
They rip Howard Stern, something about how he can't take a joke.
Relayed feedback from listeners: Opie sounded "like a Cylon from Battlestar Gallactica."
It's Tom in Philly: "Howard Stern! All riiiiiight!" And he hangs up.
Next caller says Anthony sounds like Bea Arthur.
Opie says WYSP is more excited to have them back than any other station. So some 'YSP folks are sending a continent north to salute them.
A, sarcastically: "Wonder what they're going to bring."
O: "What's wrong with a Philly cheesesteak?"
A: "It's so cliche."
And they do riffs on other city's cliches.
O reminisces about "stupid Philly," some stunt with a dead monkey ... in a baby carriage? ... and the time the Philly Phanatic came in.
O: "He smelled."
A: "It's radio and he doesn't talk!" So they started kicking and punching him. "One in the gut and you hear the Philly Phanatic go, "Ooof, knock it off!"

Gotta get back to writing up some news for Any radio spies out there give us some followup reports? Or at least some reactions. Post 'em here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fox's '24' Never Lets Up 

Every week, some cast member dies (or seems to ... see ya, Defense Secretary Heller) and another level of conspiracy gets revealed (no, it's not Russian terrorists, it's government people, wait, it's the vice president, no it's the president, no it's yet another group controlling him ... holy Manchurian Candidate, maybe). Great show, agrees an ex-Inky scribe with Entertainment Weekly. Still, I got one gripe: Uh, like Audrey has an important artery severed, so much she'll bleed to death in three minutes, and she's losing buckets of blood, but Dr. Jack Bauer's whips on a magic tourniquet, enabling her to hold a gun in her bloodless limbs? Unless ... she's a vampire? Plot twist! Didn't see that coming, did you?

Care to Make a Wager on Next Terrell Owens Feud? 

An online gambling site set some odds. What's next? First Eagles to be flagged for an illegal hit on Owens in Oct. 8 game here?

What a Boob? 

WIP's Angelo Cataldi apparently fell for an urban legend, citing a study this morning that ogling women's breasts helps men live longer. No such study, says

Cohost Rhea Hughes had a great rejoinder: "Is that sponsored by Hooters?" (See picture. It illustrates a video clip about Hooters Boot Camp. 'Boot' is not a typo.)

Reminds me of a joke: "Did you hear that in Mission Impossible III, you'll be able to see one of Katie Holmes' boobs?" Pause. She's not in the film. It stars her sperm donor/couch jumper, Tom Cruise.

In a related news story, here's another way China's becoming more like the West.

What's the Next Big Invention? 

Monday, April 24, 2006

See A.I.'s 'Money Bagz' Tattoo? 

Photo of Money Bagz tattoo from alleniversononlive.comWatching a video clip of Allen Iverson, I noticed on the back of one hand he has a tattoo that says "Money Bagz." Is he bragging? Having a good laugh about the obvious? No way to tell. But another of his newer tattoos, sure doesn't strike any tone of bemusement. It says FAME across his back, with a message reading downward "F@#!? All My Enemies." You can check them and others out at

And here's something else we learned about A.I.: He wants to be a fisherman.

By the way, last night on NBC10's Sports Final, St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli said the now-infamous late-for-Fan-Appreciation-Night incident sure shows how much Iverson, not GM Billy King and certainly not coach Moe Cheeks, is in charge of the franchise. Who was to blame for that situation? "The players. There's no doubt about it," said Martelli. While A.I. and Chris Webber weren't necessarily showing disrespect for the fans, they clearly have a "total disrepect" for anybody in the organization, he said. "Somebody in the upper echelons has said that this team will dance to the tune set by Allen Iverson." Locates Best Gas Prices 

Go to, if you'd like to find stations pumping gas for less, or find out if yours is charging among the highest prices.

For example, click Pennsylvania on the U.S. map, and you can choose lists for the state, Philadelphia, the Scranton area, and Allentown.

Here's a customized list for best prices in South Jersey. Or go to to see charges for the whole state, or to create your own survey.

Here are links for Wilmington area and all of Delaware.

Help the cause by being a gas spy, and reporting your own findings at

Top 10 Windows XP Tips of All Time 

Or so this guy says.

Two Improper Uses of Plumbing 

Oops. 'Nother oops.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sayings of Chairman Charlie 

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is notable for being quotable. I'm building a collection:

"I know he hit seventh the other night against a lefty, but I was looking for balance in the lineup. But if he wants to hit fourth or fifth, he can hit fourth or fifth. Just keep hitting."
April 23, about Ryan Howard, who homered twice in 4-2 win.

"I don't worry about myself. I don't have time. Why should I worry about things I don't have control over? I come to work every day, and at times it's good enough. When you lose, if I can improve, I'm looking to do it."
April 22, after a rainout.

"I can't even get kicked out of the game. I said everything I could say. I used just about everything I had."
April 21, about disputing a call during a 4-3 loss to Marlins that gave Phils worst home start since 1945.

"I think he belongs in our lineup against lefthanders. I think I have to have him in there right now. I think he's earned that."
April 20, on using Howard more, after batting the slugger seventh in 10-4 loss.

"You guys were asking me today about being 1-6 at home. Now we're 2-6. And now we can work on 3-6 tomorrow."
April 19, after Howard's 10th-inning hit beat the Nationals.

"I think it's kind of up to us to show the fans what kind of team we've got."
April 18, after drubbing by the Nationals.

"It was a good day. Easter. Suckers want to go hunt Easter eggs."
April 16, after Brett Myers' 1-0 win in Colorado.

"It just goes to show, if you pitch you can pitch anywhere. If you've got it, you've got it. If you don't, get it."
Also April 16.

"They put one of those Colorado finishes on us."
April 14, after Phils' 10-3 lead almost disappeared.

"A winning streak. Let's go. How about them Fightin' Phils?"
April 13, after Phils take 2d in a row against Atlanta.
"You understand this? It sounds good. I'll figure out these words next year."
About rap song "Laffy Taffy" by D4L, blaring in clubhouse after April 12 win in Atlanta.

"I was thinking about getting thrown out of the game. It was crossing my mind."
Sunday, April 9, after miscue-marred game 2 of a doubleheader.

"You know what, when you get right down to it, right now, I'd say the first four days out we kind of stink."
Friday, April 7, after the Phils lost to go 0-4.

Come across a good new example of the Charlie just being Charlie? Email Early Word and we'll add it to the list. Post past memorable ones and comments here.
Continue reading here ...

Who Will Eagles Pick? Who Should They Pick? 

A handful of Eagles draft predictions:

Inquirer's Phil Sheridan (who has a new column on winners)
They should trade up into the Top 10 and get [defensive tackle] Brodrick Bunkley or [offensive tackle] Winston Justice, whichever they have rated as more of an impact player. They will sit at 14, take someone they like but don't love and say that's who they wanted all along.

Inquirer's Bob Ford (whose latest column looks at the Flyers)
Will keep their pick. Will take a guard for the offensive line.
Should trade the pick to Dallas for Terrell Owens.

Inquirer Incites columnist / WIP host Don McKee
If the Eagles remain at No. 14, they will draft defensive tackle Gabe Watson of Michigan. What they SHOULD do is trade down to about No. 20, when OT Winston Justice of USC, FB Lendale White of USC, OLB Ernie Sims of Florida State, RB DeAngelo Wiliams of Memphis and center Nice Mangold of Ohio State all will be available. They can get an extra pick in the late second or early third round for the switch, and use that for a "depth" pick. They can go for the DL help with their original second-round pick, No. 45. The draftniks say the players available between 10 and 20 in the first round all are pretty similar, so going down to 20 doesn't hurt you.

WIP host (and ribs expert) Glen Macnow
I think they aim to move up for FSU DT Brodrick Bunkley. If they fail to do that, I suspect they’ll trade down (driving their fans nuts!) and seek to get a few more picks. What should they do? I’d love to see them jump up to get earthmover [DT] Haloti Ngata of Oregon, but I don’t think they like him.

Early Word
Eagles recent first-round picks reflect: "What high-priced aging valuable guy do we need to replace?" Bobby Taylor near free agency? Hello, Lito. John Runyan getting on in years? Sean Andrews could play tackle (they said). Corey Simon wants big bucks? Mike Patterson's the guy. That position this year would not be defensive tackle. Patterson's new, Darwin Walker and Sam Rayburn aren't that expensive. So I think that's a smokescreen. The positions they better replace soon, to avoid costly desperate free agent signings later? Offensive tackle (Tre Thomas and Runyan) and safety (Brian Dawkin's aging, Michael Lewis is a free agent). Moneywise, OT would be their pick. But Justice has solicited hookers, faced other charges. And the Birds have players like Andrews who might move out to tackle. So I'm predicting they'll trade down, draft a safety and a linebacker with first two picks, pick up receiver Javon Walker if he only costs them a third-rounder and, say, Greg Lewis, otherwise focus on defense and o-line through the draft. What should they do? Makes sense to trade down, get more rolls of the dice in the crapshoot, but better yet is to try to trade your iffy picks for still-young proven players.

See also poll that asks "How many impact players do Eagles need from this draft?" and "Stalking the mock drafts."

What do you think?

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